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September 25, 2011
• Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania
Referee: P. Mazzoleni
• Attendance: 20000
G. Bergessio 22'
M. Krasić 49'
90' + 6'
And that's full time! Juventus and Catania share the spoils in a very physical and entertaining encounter where both sides deserved something from the match. Conte's side has stalled a bit in recent weeks, following up two wins with two draws, but still remain unbeaten in the league. Vincenzo Montella's team, on the other hand, continue to be formidable at home and will take every point they can get against the big sides. Thank you for joining us here on Goal for Catania-Juventus!
90' + 3'
Catania so close! Lodi was played in after some superb work by Gomez but his first touch is too strong and allows Buffon to collect the ball. At the other end, Grosso lets out a shot that anger his captain as both Del Piero and Pepe were free in the box.
90' + 2'
Quagliarella gives away a free kick after bundling over Capuano near the Catania box. Both sides are absolutely gunning for a goal now with so little time remaining.
90' + 1'
Five minutes of added time, now, and Gomez shoots over the bar after a great cut inside Lichtsteiner!
Lodi finds Gomez at the edge of the box, but the latter's shot is blocked by Chiellini.
Vidal skies a beautiful chance! Del Piero and Pepe combined wonderfully to send a ball into the box that Capuano could only feebly clear. Vidal met the ball right near the penalty spot but absolutely hoofed it over the bar!
Del Piero earns a free kick after drawing a foul from Castellani deep in the Catania half. Pirlo, as ever, whips the ball into the box but Andujar strongly punches the ball out.
An AWFUL mistake from Chiellini! His poor error nearly set Suazo free in the box but Buffon was ready and smothered the ball before the striker could reach it. That was nearly lethal from the centre-back.
Gomez and Vidal go face to face briefly after clashing on near the sidelines. It comes to nothing though and neither is booked. Meanwhile Barzagli is back on but still limping.
Barzagli is down and in a lot of pain after being caught on the ankle by Suazo. Juventus have no substitutions left as the defender limps heavily off to the sidelines.
Pirlo sweeps the ball magestically to Krasic but the Serbian is quite a few yards offside, despite his puzzled looks.
Marchisio comes off for Quagliarella in an attacking substitution from Conte.
The game has quelled in the last 15 minutes or so, with neither side creating anything of note. Krasic nearly changes that with a superb run and cross in the box but Del Piero's header is very poor and off target from short range.
Spolli dives at full stretch to cut out Pepe's ball to Del Piero, but the Juve captain is offside anyway and Catania win a free-kick.
Catania in the ascendancy at the moment but neither side can really penetrate the other's defense. Suazo comes on for Bergessio, the home side's goalscorer.
Bergessio takes Lichtsteiner on all the way to the byline but Buffon eventually manages to snatch the ball from the tricky player.
Lodi takes the subsequent free-kick but Grosso nods it straight out of the box.
Yellow CardArturo Vidal
And Vidal is booked for taking down Spolli whilst on the verge of a superb run that saw the defender bypass nearly all of the midfield!
Alessandro Del Piero
Ledesma latches onto the end of a bouncing ball and fires a shot towards goal but it's right at Buffon.
The away side are maintaining possession but without anywhere to pass it as Catania close the channels expertly. Matri comes off for Del Piero as the ball goes out of bounds.
Lichtsteiner wins a free kick after aggressive pressuring from Ledesma. Juve use the opportunity to cross the ball into the box but Catania eventually clear it awkwardly for a throw-in.
Juve now on a counter-attack and Pepe sends in a cross towards Matri. The striker nearly got his head to it but Capuano heads it into the striker's head and out for a corner! The captain is down now after that clearance.
The two sides are awfully similar on the night, with frail defenses, shaky goalies, and potent attacks. Ledesma, who has come on as a substitute for Almiron, nearly plays a good cross but it's cut out. Krasic immediately has a good dribble on the other end but his shot is very tame and easy for Andujar to collect.
Pepe tries a vicious swerving shot from distance but Andujar just reaches it in time to prevent it from reaching the top corner!
Pirlo gives the ball away to Gomez who begets a counter for the home side. Bergessio flashes the ball across the face of goal, it finds Bergessio on the other side, and he sends it back across the goalline again! No one from the home side was there to capitalize on two very good chances!
Bergessio nearly catches Buffon on his line with a cross that somehow nearly crept into the top corner of the net!
There's hardly a moment's reprieve in the match as Juve win a corner that initially rolls out. Pepe collects the ball, races in, and nearly cuts back perfectly but his cross is blocked. Marchisio plays a one-two with Matri seconds later but skies his shot after the striker expertly held up play and set him free in the box!
Yellow CardCiro Capuano
Catellani is on the floor in some pain after Pepe accidentally got his foot caught near the player's crotch whilst both jumped for a high ball.
Captain Capuano is booked for taking down Krasic as he was running into the box on the right. Pirlo takes the ensuing free kick but the ball is quickly cleared by Gomez.
The home side now making inroads up the pitch as they search to re-establish control of the match. Capuano takes a throw in but the ball reaches an offside player and is given to the away side for a free kick.
Vidal is wearing bandages on his head to stem the bleeding and is temporarily off the pitch. Buffon races off his line to smother a through-ball as the player comes back on.
Lodi gives the ball away to Vidal. The ball gets into the box and causes havoc before being cleared by Lodi himself! Vidal was kicked in the face by Almiron as the Catania player tried to clear the ball and Marchisio is down as well.
Pirlo whips in his free-kick and Chielini nearly dives into it but Del Vecchio sticks a boot out first. Whatever Conte said at half-time really fired up his players as this is much better from the away side now.
Vidal immediately goes for a shot on the subsequent free kick but the ball takes a deflection for a corner. Off the corner Pirlo is fouled by Gomez and wins a free kick very close to the edge of the box on the left.
Yellow CardSergio Almiron
It's end-to-end play now! Lichtsteiner's cross almost finds Matri in the box but the play is called off for a foul. Almiron is booked shortly after for fouling Vidal.
Catania nearly go ahead again immediately! Bergessio receives the ball from a free kick nearly in front of goal and just misses. The flag was raised however and it would not have counted regardless, but the home side illustrate their intent for the match.
AND KRASIC HAS EQUALIZED! The Serb takes a shot on goal which goes nearly straight to Andujar, but the goalie makes an awful mistake and allows the ball to sail past him into the net! Game on!
A real chance there for Catania! The ball fell to DelVecchio at the edge of the box after Bergessio held off Chiellini, but the player shoots wide from less than 15 yards out!
Catania continue to pressure Juve immensely; while the strategy may drain the side by the end of the match, it's working very well so far. Bergessio takes on Chiellini and gets to the by-line but the centre-back eventually boots out the ball for a throw in.
And the second half has begun! The rain is falling very heavily at the Stadio Angelo Massimino. Antonio Conte has made the first swap of the game, taking off the ineffective Elia for Simone Pepe.
45' + 2'
Pirlo's cross finds Barzagli at the near post but the centre-back just cannot turn and shoot. That turns out to be the final action of the first half as the referee blows for half-time shortly after. Catania are deservedly in the lead after pressing very well and using their speed to cause the away side many problems. Vincenzo Montella will be looking for more of the same in the second half, but his counterpart Conte likely won't be very happy at all with Juventus' lack of cutting edge despite so much possession. Join us again in 15 minutes for the second half!
45' + 1'
Two minutes of extra time have been added by the fourth official. Vidal tries to dribble towards the box but loses possession. Elia ends up with the ball and draws a foul from Marchese just outside the Catania box.
With very little time left in the half now, the away side continue to dominate possession but create little in the way of true chances. Marchese goes on a very nice run but is eventually dispossessed by Grosso in Juventus' half.
Catania's pressing is working very well as the home side are forcing Juve into making all kinds of mistakes. Elia's good cross nearly finds Marchisio but Almiron does just enough to head it out for a corner, which comes to little fruition.
Bellusci is down after a poor challenge from Vidal, who just stepped on the player as he went in for the ball deep in Catania's half.
A high foot from Vidal catches Spolli in the head and a free kick is awarded to the home side deep in their half.
Matri is nearly free in the box, and he turns to shoot but Spolli slides in with a perfect challenge and dispossess the forward! Great defending from the Argentine there.
Former Milan maestro Pirlo tries a long range effort but his shot is quite weak and off target as it failed to test Andujar before bobbling out of play. Juve need more guile than this to regain ground.
Krasic dummies a ball well for the onrushing Lichtsteiner but Catellani is back defending and reads the return pass perfectly. As the forward races with possession he's fouled once again by Marchisio.
A mistake now from the away side as Lichtsteiner dribbles a ball out of bounds.
Gomez continues to torture Grosso and his work eventually leads to a cross in the box which Buffon rushes out to catch.
After some beautiful footwork Vidal finds Matri in the box, who turns and falls from the challenge of the Catania fullbacks. The referee waves play on, however, and no penalty is given.
The home side's speed up front is causing the Juve defense quite a few problems as Grosso in particular looks to be targeted as an easy exploit. Nevertheless the away side continue to press for an equalizer but Grosso's poor cross is easily cleared.
Catania nearly with a second there! Castellani volleys a ball just wide of the right post and had Buffon rooted to the spot from a free kick.
Alvarez is down and receiving medical attention as he appears to be in some discomfort. He is stretchered off and Giovanni Marchese comes on to replace the defender.
Juventus are doing well to keep the ball but find themselves unable to unlock this Catania defense. The home side are having a much easier time, as Gomez is fouled by Grosso just as the tricky player was about to round the World Cup winner.
Yellow CardGiorgio Chiellini
Chiellini booked now! The defender was caught in possession and forces Del Vecchio to the ground after the player had just snuck in behind him. Lopez sends the free kick directly to goal which Buffon punches out uncomfortably.
That was very poor defending from Juventus to allow Bergessio to make the run into the box. Marchisio nearly levels things immediately but instead forces a great save out of Andujar!
GOAL BERGESSIO!! Just after missing a shot the forward finds himself in front of the net; Gomez sends in a superb low cross which the striker races in front of Barzagli to turn in! The home side are now in the lead!
Both sides are doing well to get the ball past midfield; it's their final passes that cost them possession. Krasic wins the ball very deep in the Catania half but fails to find Matri with his cross. Immediately on the other end Bergessio fires a shot which fizzes wide of Buffon's far post.
Pirlo strikes his free-kick straight into the wall. Del Vecchio ends up with possession and races free but trips up with Chiellini. The match is becoming increasingly physical and more cards are almost certain to follow!
Spolli does very well to prevent a Pirlo ball from reaching Matri but then fouls the former Milan player once he gets the ball back, and Juve now have a free kick right outside the box.
Yellow CardClaudio Marchisio
Catellani races away with the ball from the corner and is fouled by Marchisio on his way towards the center of the pitch. The Juve player is cautioned for his challenge.
Marchisio plays the ball wide to Krasic, whose cross earns the away side another corner.
The match is opening up quite a bit now as the players quickly rush back and forth between both boxes. Chiellini sends the ball back to Buffon just to allow the play to settle a bit but the Italy international sends the ball straight out of bounds. Gomez is dispossessed on the edge of the box but a cross is sent in anyway; Almiron squeezes between Lichtsteiner and Barzagli but his header is off target.
Capuano does well to cut out a long ball for Krasic and wins a free kick due to the player's subsequent challenge. Adujar sends a long ball forward that gets crossed into the box but Buffon very easily collects it.
The away side have possession but not many outlets to pass it; the defense plays it back and forth to jeers from the crowd before inching forward. Pirlo eventually sends in a long cross for Matri but Andujar is able to scoop it up mid-air.
Krasic's speed sees him burst into the box and win a corner which Pirlo takes. It nearly found Chiellini before being cleared. Grosso reclaims it, sends it to Chiellini again, and the defender connects this time but his header is too high and soft.
Marchisio tries to reach Elia now but his pass is too long as well. Conte's strategy early on seems clear; use the player's pace to trouble the Catania fullbacks, but his players' accuracy is far from perfect on the night.
Another wasteful Juve counter leads to a break for the home side. Gomez feeds Del Vecchio in the box to earn a corner, which is played short before Alvarez fires a tame shot wide of the right post.
Barzagli sends a long ball to Elia much more successfully than his centre-back partner but the new arrival fails to control the ball and it goes out for a goal-kick.
Pirlo sends a free-kick short to Lichtsteiner, who attempts to feed Krasic but there's a misunderstanding as the latter had stopped his run. The ball rolls out harmlessly and the home side now look to press Conte's team.
Jeers from around the stadium as an early long ball from Chiellini goes out of bounds before it reaches Elia, who is making his Juventus debut. Soon after the away side eventually snatch the ball thanks to Krasic's pressure but Matri wastes the occasion, choosing to dribble wide instead of feeding in the onrushing Vidal.
The game has begun! Montella's side are attacking from left to right here after a minute's silence for soldiers in Afghanistan. Immediately the away side gain possession and Lichtsteiner sends in a low cross that's easily blocked.
The sides are now on the pitch for the usual pre-match proceedings. Catania are in their usual blue and red kit whereas Juve are suited in their traditional black and white strip.
It's certainly an odd lineup for the home side, with major players such as Ledesma and Suazo benched by Vincenzo Montella. The question nevertheless remains: can a weakened Catania pull off an upset against one of the early form teams in Serie A, Juvenus?
Juventus coach Conte has tinkered further with his side, choosing a 4-1-4-1 with Pirlo and Matri in bands of their own. Both sides have plenty of options on the bench- including Lopez- but have been hit by injuries to Vincenzo Iaquinta, Alessandro Potenza, and Nicola Legrottaglie. Benches: Catania: Kosicky, Marchese, Ricchiuti, Ledesma, Lanzafame, Maxi Lopez, Suazo Juventus:Storari, Bonucci, Pazienza, Pepe, Giaccherini, Quagliarella, Del Piero
The home side have also made quite a few changes since their 3-0 loss to Genoa midweek. Pablo Alvarez comes in for Alessandro Potenza at the back, and Sergio Almiron, Andrea Catellani, and Alejandro Gomez all come into the starting XI as well. Hugely influential striker Maxi Lopez is out, however, which is a big blow for the home side. Mariano Andujar; Pablo Alvarez, Giuseppe Bellusci, Nicolas Spolli, Ciro Capuano; Gennaro Delvecchio, Sergio Almiron, Francesco Lodi; Andrea Catellani, Gonzalo Bergessio, Alejandro Gomez.
The starting XIs have been announced for each side. The visitors have a few surprises in their lineup as coach Antonio Conte has tinkered somewhat since the Bologna draw. Out goes underperforming Paolo De Ceglie for Fabio Grosso in defense, and Simone Pepe loses his starting spot to summer acquisition Arturo Vidal. Finally, Mirko Vucinic's red last match allows Eljero Elia to prove his merit to the team. Gianluigi Buffon, Stefan Lichtsteiner, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Fabio Grosso, Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo, Milos Krasic, Arturo Vidal, Eljero Elia, Alessandro Matri.
Welcome to Goal.com's coverage of Catania-Juventus! The home side will look to end their inconsistent form in Serie A this season (having won, lost, and tied once a piece so far) whereas Juventus will look to maintain their very solid start.
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